DOI: 10.14704/nq.2003.1.4.28

Quantum Mechanics: Basic Concepts, From Big-Bang To Brain

Sultan Tarlacı


Quantum mechanics deals with the behaviour of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scale. It attempts to describe and account for the properties of molecules and atoms and their constituents--electrons, protons, neutrons, and other more esoteric particles such as quarks and gluons. Its concepts frequently conflict with common-sense notions derived from observations of the everyday world. Quantum mechanics has attracted some of the ablest scientists of the 20th century, and they have erected what is perhaps the finest intellectual edifice of the period. Quantum mechanics is concerned with phenomena that are so small-scale that they cannot be described in classical terms. The history of quantum mechanics may be divided into three main periods. The first began with Planck's theory of black-body radiation in 1900; it may be described as the period in which the validity of Planck's constant was demonstrated but its real meaning was not fully understood. The second period began with the quantum theory of atomic structure and spectra proposed by Niels Bohr in 1913. True quantum mechanics appeared in 1926, reaching fruition nearly simultaneously in a variety of forms--namely, the matrix theory of Max Born and Werner Heisenberg, the wave mechanics of Louis V. de Broglie and Erwin Schrödinger, and the transformation theory of P.A.M. Dirac and Pascual Jordan.


quantum mechanics; particle; wave-particle; classical physics; observer; basic

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